Princeville firefighters relying on donations after flooding damages equipment

Ruined gear at the Princeville Volunteer Fire Department (CBS North Carolina)
Ruined gear at the Princeville Volunteer Fire Department (CBS North Carolina)

PRINCEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the Princeville Volunteer Fire Department is struggling.

Until Monday, outside departments had been helping out, but now the department is on its own.

The department is working out of a tent, because the fire department building is moldy and unusable, Chief James Powell said. The damage was caused by flood waters that reached eight or nine feet deep inside the building, he said.

Very little made it through the flood unscathed. Four of the department’s six trucks were lost. Almost all of the firefighters’ other gear was lost as well.

The department is left relying on donations, and the chief thinks it will take at least $3 million to get the department functioning. He says insurance won’t cover the loss.

The department has set up a GoFundMe page. It has so far raised more than $1,000.

This is the second time the department’s headquarters has been flooded; the first was after Hurricane Floyd.

When the department does rebuild, the chief said, he’d like to see the headquarters rebuilt in a less flood-prone area.

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